Type

Track Ride

Status

Opened

Fastpass+

No

On-ride Photo

No

Level

C - Major Attraction

Height Requirement

None

Disney Warnings

Supervise children at all times.

This attraction may be frightening for children.


About

Ellen's Energy Adventure is a comedic slow moving journey back in time with Ellen Degeneres and Bill Nye the Science Guy. Together they educate guests on the numerous possibilities of the past, present and future of energy sources.

The attraction will have it's last day of operation August 13, 2017 before being replaced with the Guardians of the Galaxy attraction.

 

Disney Description

In this 45-minute adventure, you'll board a SLOW MOVING "traveling theater" car to travel back to the dinosaur era, accompanied by Bill Nye and Ellen DeGeneres. This attraction features loud noises and periods of darkness.

 

Visible Animals

There are no live animals in this attraction, however several animatronic dinosaurs are represented

  • Brachiosaurus
  • Diprotodon
  • Megalosaurus
  • Stegosaurus
  • Trachodon
  • Ornithomimus
  • Elasmosaurus
  • Pteranadon
 

Location

Located in Future World East to the left of the Festival Center/Mission: Space.

 

Appeals To

Fans of Ellen and dinosaurs.

 

Times Guide – Opening/Closing

This attraction opens with the park but typically closes at 7:00 PM.

 

Queue Notes

A small roped off area exists outside the building, but typically the line for the attraction never exceeds the length of one show. Guests can gather in the pre-show area instead of being stacked in a queue.

 

Pre-show Notes

The pre-show room is a large carpeted room with a handful of benches against the wall and five large screens over a small stage for cast member announcements.

The show begins with Ellen welcoming guests to the Universe of Energy. She continues with a lighthearted, joke riddled introduction to the back story of the attraction. Her image moves from screen to screen as she discusses how she became the spokesperson for the Universe of Energy and how that in itself is unexpected. She admits that previously she didn't care about energy and then one day everything changed.

Ellen cuts to a scene of herself sitting in her apartment about to watch Jeopardy. The apartment scene takes up four of the screens while the Ellen that welcomed guests into the attraction occupies the fifth (left most) screen. There is a brief interaction where Ellen talks to herself in the apartment, before the action in the apartment takes over.

It is revealed that Jeopardy is Ellen's favorite show. Her neighbor, Bill Nye the Science Guy knocks on her door looking for some supplies (aluminum foil, a clothespin and a candle) and engages Ellen in conversation. Ellen then sees that one of the contestants on Jeopardy is her former college roommate (played by Jamie Lee Curtis). Her former roommate is identified as Judy Peterson, a professor of Energy at Princeton University. Ellen is dismissive of this and refers to her by the moniker she gave her in college, "Stupid Judy". Ellen continues to dismiss the significance of Judy and energy while Bill Nye defends both. Bill Nye leaves, and Ellen decides to, "Take a nap for 100."

The narrator version of Ellen appears back on screen making fun of her counterpart in the apartment. She breaks the fourth wall and engages the audience asking the question about what happens when someone falls asleep watching TV. A voice from the back tells Ellen that the person is likely to have a "dream sequence". Ellen explains that it was more of a nightmare and then she calls for some fog to appear in the apartment.

The dream kicks off with the voice of Johnny Gilbert saying, "This is Jeopardy!" He continues introducing the three contestants for the Jeopardy game that's taking place in Ellen's dream:

  • Dr. Judy Peterson
  • Dr. Albert Einstein
  • "Just Ellen"

Johnny Gilbert introduces Alex Trebek, who then reveals all of the categories. Each category is related to energy. The pre-show continues to be self referential as Alex Trebek says, "Ellen since this is your dream we'll let you make the first selection."

Ellen selects Fossil Fuels for $100 and immediately buzzes in on a question she doesn't know. She regurgitates the clue and Judy jumps in with the correct answer. Several cuts show Judy answering every question correctly and Dr. Albert Einstein and Ellen not answering anything. The first round ends with the scores below:

  • Judy: $17800
  • Einstein: $0
  • Ellen: $-100

Ellen makes an offhanded comment, "Is this a nightmare or what?" Alex Trebek regards that as her first correct response, bringing her score to $0. Ellen then realizes that this is her dream and she can control it. She snaps her fingers and everything freezes. She leaves the stage and Bill Nye is running into the theater. Ellen thinks he's there to help her but he clarifies that he's there to see Einstein. Ellen asks him for help, setting up the premise of the attraction. Bill Nye says that together they need to go back many billion years ago to the dawn of the Universe. They disappear and then the narrator version of Ellen appears on screen and breaks the fourth wall:

Wait, it's not even over, it gets really weird from here. Now some person I don't even know reminds me there's no eating, drinking, smoking or flash photography in my dream.

At this point, a cast member gets on the small stage and announces that there is no eating, drinking, smoking or flash photography in Ellen's dream.

Ellen continues:

...And no videotaping, ok?
And those of you who are just walking in right, now... You're late. Where have you been?
I love your hair. Not, not you... I mean it's alright, but that's... cute, yeah
Um, anyway, so you're not completely lost, here's a recap of what has been going on: I'm Ellen. (Waves) Hi!. I love Jeopardy, I used to not care about energy at all until I had a nightmare that I was on Jeopardy and all the categories were about energy. Oh, don't I know it's scary... So my neighbor, Bill Nye stepped in to help me out. Bill Nye the Science Guy, do you know him? Anyway, so he comes in to help me out. Got it? Good. If you don't then that's your problem because you're late... and you think about that next time.

The lights come up on the pre-show and guests enter the load area through doors beneath the large screens. They enter one of six large theater cars to begin the ride portion of the attraction. At times, they will not load all six vehicles.

 

Vehicle Description

The vehicles have 8 regular length rows and 1 shorter row for handicapped guests. Each vehicle seats up to 80 guests and each show can use up to 6 vehicles.

 

Story

The premise of the attraction is established in the pre-show. Guests are traveling into Ellen's dream. She is teamed up with Bill Nye the Science Guy to learn about energy so that she can compete against her former college roommate in a game of Jeopardy.

The ride begins with the theaters rotating as a video begins. Ellen and Bill Nye are walking in the dark carrying flashlights. Bill Nye explains that they're about to witness the birth of the Universe, The Big Bang. The Big Bang is an incredibly loud sequence, and Bill Nye grabs Ellen and pulls her into a nearby room right as the Universe is about to expand. A large explosion takes place as galaxies, stars and planets appear on screen. The video pans into earth showing the evolution from volcanic eruptions to the formation of oceans, land and forests.

The next scene features Bill Nye and Ellen in a jungle, roughly 220 million years in the Earth's past. Ellen remains hesitant, expecting Bill Nye to show her a slideshow instead of traveling back to the time of the dinosaurs. Bill Nye explains to Ellen that energy is all around them, and that the plants and animals of the Earth's past created the fossil fuels that humans use today.

Bill Nye seems fascinated by the dinosaurs leaving Ellen by herself. She then hears a dinosaur and quickly follows Bill Nye. This short sequence leads into the diorama portion of the attraction.

The six theater cars move forward, forming a line that travels through scenes of Dinosaurs. Ellen's voice can be heard looking for Bill. A family of large brachiosaurus dinosaurs stand to the right of the vehicles, chewing away at some leaves. Foliage lines both sides of the slow moving vehicles throughout the dinosaur scenes. Off to the side a diprotodon is visible on a rock. As guests pass the brachiosaurus, one of them sneezes above the vehicle.

As the vehicle continues forward, a megalosaurus and stegosaurus can be seen fighting on a rock while several trachodons can be seen under a waterfall. Nearby a group of ornithomimus standby while one of them spits at the vehicle.

Ellen can be seen fighting an elasmosaurus in a swamp. She is waving a stick at the large "snake like" dinosaur. Some of her lines include:

You don't need to eat me, really I would just spoil your appetite.
If you can't say something nice... then you can't.
That tough guy image will only get you so far... and that's pretty far.
Don't make me use this thing... I'll use it... I'll use the thing...
Bill, does this place have a park ranger? PARK RANGER!
My what big teeth you have
Hey listen mister, don't give me that attitude.

The vehicle continues past Ellen as several Pteranadons are perched on a ledge with volcanoes erupting in the background. A series of strobe lights transition the ride into the next video scene. Bill Nye can be heard overhead calling for Ellen.

The vehicles hold in the next scene as a radio tower can be seen. The scene talks about the history of the planet and features several celebrities including newscaster Willard Scott and Sportscenter personality Chris Berman. The broadcast is from K-NRG news, and the full dialog can be found below:

Announcer: K-NRG news time, 55 million B.C. Now, for a look at our weather, Willard?

Willard Scott: Okay! Our ultra extended forecast calls for decreasing dinosaur population, followed by a sudden growth in those tiny little creatures the size of mice that we call mammals. Hey, aren't they cute? Birthday greetings go out to the cockroach, two hundred million years old today. Boy howdy! And maybe that comet will help get rid of 'em. Now, here's the traffic update.

Reporter: We've got reports that a giant elephant, a dinotherium, to be exact, has popped his trunk, and is jackknifed in traffic. Plus, we can expect lots of traffic at the local watering holes, as the mammal population continues to boom.

Announcer: K-NRG news time, One million B.C. And now to the sports report, live, from the Mastodome.

Chris Berman: Mammals dominate the earth! Mammals dominate the earth! The big dinosaurs have been shut out. They're back ... back back back back back back ... gone! Extinct! The big dinosaurs have left the planet. The mammals have shut them out in a major planetary upset.

Bill Nye: This is K-NRG News Radio. Hey, let's check out the weather report, and see if it's gonna stay way cool outside. Willard?

Willard Scott: Hey, we're following a massive cold front extending from the Arctic region all the way down to our planet's mid-section. Now we're urging all mammals to evolve into their winter wardrobe because it's gonna get chilly! Be sure to develop a thick, furry hide if you want to make it. How cold it is!

Bill Nye: Keep your dial tuned to K-NRG for continuous news updates. K-NRG news time: nine hundred thousand B.C. Now, let's check out what's happening in the wild world of fashion.

Reporter: Mammals are getting hairier. That's right. Wooly is definitely in. Whether you're a mammoth or a rhino. And saber teeth seem to be a growing fad in the cat world. Also, look for antlers to be very big this year. As big as ten feet, on creatures like the megalosaurus. Wow! And that's the latest in the fashion world.

Announcer: Is it ever gonna warm up? Let's find out with a look at the weather. Willard?

Willard Scott: You know those giant glaciers we've all gotten so used to? Well, they're gonna be receding to the North and South poles. Conditions are looking very favorable for a whole new kind of mammal. K-NRG news time: seven hundred and fifty thousand B.C.

Bill Nye: And that's our K-NRG up-to-the-minute news report. Now back to our regularly scheduled program.

A curtain raises to reveal a video screen, and Bill Nye appears in a dense jungle. He says, "Now we're exactly where we need to be... all we need now is... Ellen". Ellen swings in on a vine. Ellen starts to complain about being attacked by a "snake like creature" but Bill Nye silences here to show her that, "We're at the dawn of the human age". The scene cuts over to a cave man (played by Michael Richards) that is about to discover fire. This begins a montage featuring various scenes of human evolution through their use of energy like wind to power boats, steam to power trains, oil derricks, and gasoline to power vehicles.

Ellen and Bill appear on screen in a helicopter bringing the film back to the present. Ellen thinks she's ready to return to the Jeopardy game, but Bill tells her that she needs to learn more about where energy comes from today and where it will come from in the future. The screen expands wider as the duo look at other sources of energy.

Together, they go through various scenes and energy sources including renewable energy sources like the following:

  • Solar Energy
  • Wind Energy
  • Hydroelectric Energy

Bill reveals that these sources only makeup 10% of our current energy usage but will likely play a larger role in the future. Next, they look at fossil fuels including:

  • Coal
  • Natural Gas
  • Oil

Bill states that oil deposits are often found by looking at satellite images and drilling in the ocean. The helicopter becomes a submersible vehicle to look at an offshore drilling platform. This leads them into nuclear energy and they briefly discuss the fact that is controversial. Bill then emphasizes that if humans keep using their "brain power" they may unlike the, "power of the stars" known as fusion power.

After looking at the various sources of power, Ellen returns to the Jeopardy game where they have been wondering where she was. After fumbling through an explanation she states that she was in the bathroom. Ellen returns to the stage and Alex Trebek is engaging Judy in conversation. Judy reveals to Alex that Ellen and Judy used to be roommates and she used to call her, "Stupid Ellen."

Double Jeopardy begins, and Ellen begins answering every question correctly. Judy accuses Ellen of cheating but Alex Trebek tells her to, "Zip it, Judy." At the end of Double Jeopardy, Ellen and Judy are tied while Albert Einstein has no money. As a parting gift, he's given a lightbulb and he walks off stage.

Alex Trebek reads the Final Jeopardy clue:

This is the one source of power that will never run out.

The Jeopardy music plays as the vehicles rotate to face another screen. As it rotates Johnny Gilbert can be heard:

If you would like to have your own energy nightmare, place a self addressed, stamped envelope under your pillow, or check us out on the web at www.energynightmare.game (not a valid URL)

Alex Trebek has a bit of dialog before Johnny Gilbert continues with a subtle reference to the original Universe of Energy attraction:

Some contestants on Jeopardy will receive a year's supply of energy. Energy, you make the world go 'round.

The line, "Energy you make the world go 'round," is from one of the songs from the original Universe of Energy attraction.

Alex Trebek goes to Judy first for her answer and she hasn't written anything. She claims that there is no answer, but Alex tells her that she is incorrect. She wagered everything, bringing her total to $0. He then goes to Ellen who has written "Brain Power" and wagered all of her money as well. Ellen doubles her money to $35,600. Alex declares her the champion and Johnny Gilbert makes a final announcement:

Be sure to join us tomorrow, as Jeopardy! dream sequence week continues.

The Ellen narrator from the pre-show returns turning off the dream sequence. She closes out the attraction by explaining that this is how she became an energy expert. She yells out, "LOOK OUT FOR THE DINOSAUR!" laughs, calls herself a kidder and walks off screen.

 

Sponsors

  • Exxon: 1996-2003
  • ExxonMobile: 2003-2004

During the Exxon sponsorship, guests exiting the attraction could receive a card redeemable at any Orlando area Exxon station that allowed them to receive a free, "Save the Tiger" poster.

 

Historical Notes

Ellen's Energy Adventure replaced the long running Universe of Energy attraction. Universe of Energy had it's last day of operation on January 20, 1996. Shortly thereafter the announced replacement was an attraction called, "Ellen's Energy Crisis". The attraction re-opened on June 1st, 1996 for the summer with many of the show upgrades intended for Ellen's Energy Crisis in place, but the show and video were the original Universe of Energy.

One of the biggest changes for the brief summer 1996 run was the pre-show. It no longer featured the rotating Radok screens as they were not intended to be used for the new version of the attraction. Many of the dinosaurs featured in the diorama had been re-skinned and reprogrammed already for the summer of 1996, again these changes were intended to debut with the new version of the attraction. In one scene where the Elasmosaurus (the snake like creature) was attacking the Ellen animatronic, the dinosaur had been reprogrammed to attack Ellen, but the Ellen animatronic didn't make sense in the summer 1996 version of the attraction. As such, the Ellen animatronic was hidden behind a rock and it appeared that the Elasmosaurus was attacking a rock.

The narration of the original attraction referred to several monitors that had already been removed, so a new narration was written for that section of the attraction. One of the new components was the transition scene for K-NRG radio. This scene was to debut with the new version of the attraction but was not activated during the summer 1996 run of Universe of Energy. As a result this area became a waiting area until the film began with no ride components entertaining guests. During the finale sequence, the mirrored walls had been removed, significantly changing the original finale for it's brief summer 1996 run.

The summer 1996 run of Universe of Energy had it's last day of operation on September 1, 1996 before re-opening as Ellen's Energy Crisis on September 15, 1996.

At the re-opening, the attraction was re-named to Ellen's Energy Adventure.

In 2009 the exterior paint scheme of the building reverted back to the original red/orange/yellow paint scheme.

 

Similar Attractions

The theater cars themselves are similar to The Great Movie Ride. The dinosaur scenes are similar to DINOSAUR.

 

Street Address

1350 Avenue of the Stars

 

Significant Personnel

  • Ellen Degeneres: Herself
  • Bill Nye the Science Guy: Himself
  • Alex Trebek: Jeopardy Host/Himself
  • Johnny Gilbert: Jeopardy announcer/Himself
  • Jamie Lee Curtis: Judy Peterson
  • Benny Wasserman: Albert Einstein
  • Michael Richards: Caveman
  • Corey Burton: Radio Newscaster / Traffic Reporter
  • Chris Berman: Sports Announcer (voice)
  • Willard Scott: Weather Reporter (voice)
  • Steven Dean Davis: Multiple characters
  • Jonathan Pal: Multiple characters
 

Photos